Undefeated Orioles proving to be team to beat in I-70
The Concordia High School Orioles were always expected to be good, but through the first seven games of the 2019 campaign, it appears obvious that there is no game planning for a date with the O’s. Whether they’re throwing no-hitters in tight ballgames or hitting back-to-back blasts, the Orioles are proving that they can get it done a variety of ways, as indicative of their flawless start to the season.
Monday, March 18 — Nonconference — Concordia HS
It didn’t take long for the Orioles to turn their season-opener into a track meet, as Concordia scored early and consistently throughout their first game, knocking off Smithton High School 10-1.
The O’s picked up runs in the first (one), second (two), third (three), fourth (two), and sixth (two) innings, walking six times as a unit while collecting nine hits. Junior Brayden McGinnis doubled in the second inning, while sophomore Dante Stockwell drove in two runs with his 2-3 performance. Sophomore Troy Brandt also made the most of two walks and a hit, scoring three runs.
Orioles pitchers yielded no earned runs, striking out 13 across seven innings and walking five. Four O’s took reps from the mound, led by senior Matt Gatewood’s clean, three-inning performance.
The Orioles moved to 1-0 (0-0) with the victory, while Smithton falls to 0-3.
Tuesday, March 19 — Nonconference — Concordia HS
Green Ridge 3
After a fast start panned into a mellow stretch in Concordia’s matchup with Green Ridge High School, the Orioles got their bats right in the fourth inning, blowing the game out behind big games from a few key O’s.
Three straight hits resulted in three runs in the first inning, and the Orioles went ahead 3-0 in the top of the first inning, but also allowed three runs over the first two innings, negating the advantage.
The game would remain deadlocked until the fourth inning, when RBIs from freshman Jake Tagtmeyer and junior Jaren Adams moved the score to 5-3. The inning’s damage wasn’t done, however, as senior Matt Gatewood drove in two with a single, junior Brayden McGinnis hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Gatewood, and senior Lane Mueller hit a solo homerun to left field with two outs.
The O’s would tack on one more run in the fifth inning and the final three in the sixth before the mercy rule was eventually summoned, ending the game at 13-3.
Gatewood and Mueller lead the way offensively, with each going 3-4 from the plate. Mueller drove in three runs despite his home run coming with empty bases, while Gatewood stroked two doubles. As a unit, the team stole 12 bases.
Three pitchers (Mueller, sophomore Troy Brandt, and McGinnis) combined to throw a no-hitter, striking out a combined 16 over six innings. Control was at a premium early on, as the pitchers would combine for 13 walks allowed, but they also recorded all but two outs via punch-out.
The win moves the Orioles to 2-0 (0-0), while Green Ridge fell to 0-1 in their first appearance of the season.
Wednesday, March 20 — I-70 Conference — Lone Jack HS
Lone Jack 3
They had to do it a little differently than their prior two games, but the Concordia Orioles got the job done in their first I-70 Conference matchup of the season, escaping with victory over a very good Lone Jack High School Mules team.
A first-inning run for the Mules got them ahead after the first frame, but CHS responded with a run of their own in the second inning when freshman Jake Tagtmeyer singled in junior Peyton Moore to even the score.
A leadoff single from sophomore Dante Stockwell paid off later in the inning, when senior Matthew Gatewood doubled him home to move the score to 2-1 heading into the bottom of the third inning, but they would again surrender the lead in the bottom half of the inning.
The deadlock wouldn’t hold, however, as sophomore Troy Brandt led off the fourth with a double, eventually coming around to score on an error that got junior Jaren Adams on base. Adams would score later in the inning when Gatewood drove in his second run of the game, this time with a single to move the score to 4-2.
The Mules would draw it close again, cashing in one run in the sixth inning. It would be their last runs, however, and the Orioles would hold on for the 4-3 victory.
Sophomore Austin Droege was great from the mound, allowing all three runs (one earned) but striking out 12 and allowing just six hits and a walk in 6.1 innings of work. Gatewood would come in and take care of two hitters to earn the save.
Gatewood also led his team from the batters box as one of three Orioles to record a multi-hit game (Brandt, Stockwell).
The Orioles move to 3-0 (1-0) with the victory. The Mules fall to 1-1 (0-1) with the loss.
Thursday, March 21 — Nonconference — Northwest (Hughesville) HS
A great game ensued when two of the top state’s top 10 teams met up, but it was the Orioles who came out on top of the Northwest (Hughesville) High School Mustangs, winning 1-0 after a late run to break the deadlock.
The matchup turned into a pitcher’s duel quickly, but ultimately the Orioles would strike first — and last — when sophomore Troy Brandt’s leadoff walk eventually materialized as sophomore Dante Stockwell singled him in with two outs.
Gatewood dazzled from the mound, striking out 11 and yielding just three hits and a walk en route to the complete game shutout. Holding an impressive Northwest squad to just three hits is no easy task, and the offense around him was able to do just enough to secure the victory. The defense also supplied help, as a couple of tough jams ended before Mustangs runs were scored — including in the seventh, when runners made it to second and third with no outs.
Stockwell has had quite the impressive season thus far, winning the starting right field job and coming through big for the O’s multiple times, including against the Mustangs, where Stockwell went 2-3 and collected two of his team’s three total hits (freshman Jake Tagtmeyer collected the other one).
The Orioles moved to 4-0 (1-0) with the victory, while the Mustangs drew their second loss, falling to 1-2.
Monday, March 25 — I-70 Conference — Santa Fe HS
Santa Fe 0
In their second I-70 Conference contest of the season, the Concordia Orioles had their way with the Santa Fe High School Chiefs, knocking the Chiefs off 10-0 behind a combined no-hitter from junior Brayden McGinnis and sophomore Troy Brandt.
Control complicated things at times for McGinnis, who walked eight over 4.1 innings, but he was able to keep the hit column clean while striking out six in the process. Brandt recorded the final five outs, striking out three and walking two but maintaining the no-no.
Scoring started off in the second inning with one Concordia run in the second, third and fourth innings, but Orioles hitters put on a clinic in the fifth inning as junior Brayden McGinnis, and senior Lane Mueller hit back-to-back two-out bombs to move the score to 5-0, and after junior Peyton Moore reached on an error, sophomore Troy Brandt hit a homer of his own to push the score to 7-0. They would collect three more runs in the sixth inning to secure the 10-0 mercy rule victory.
The Orioles move to 5-0 (2-0) with the victory, while Santa Fe fell to 0-4 (0-1) with the loss.
Tuesday, March 26 — I-70 Conference — SPLHS
Senior Matt Gatewood was unstoppable from the mound, coming one out away from a perfect game but finishing with a no-hitter as the Orioles got by the Saint Paul Lutheran High School Saints, 2-0.
Gatewood lost his perfect game on a two-out error in the seventh inning and proceeded to hit the next batter with a pitch, but recorded the final out one at-bat later to secure the no-hitter and victory for his team. Gatewood threw just 80 pitches to get through seven innings, striking out 12 and hitting one batter.
Only one player in the entire matchup recorded a hit, but he certainly found his groove early and often. Junior Brayden McGinnis was a doubles machine, collecting three en route to a 3-3 performance. He drove in sophomore Dante Stockwell in the third inning with a two-out double, and scored the other run himself in the sixth inning when the Saints made an error, costing an insurance run.
The Orioles move to 6-0 (3-0) with the victory. Saint Paul Lutheran descended to 0-5 (0-2) with the loss.
Wednesday, March 27 — Nonconference — Concordia HS
La Monte 0
After a slow start offensively the night prior, the Orioles had no problem jumping all over the La Monte High School Vikings, winning 15-0 and recording their third-straight no-hitter in the process.
Peyton Moore pitched tremendously for the Orioles, registering two strikeouts and two walks while keeping both the hits and runs columns clean in his four-inning, mercy rule-shortened no-hitter.
Six Concordia runs in the bottom of the first appeared too big of a hole for the Vikings to climb out from, and the six more runs crossed between the second and third innings.
The fourth inning for the Orioles, however, was certainly one that fans will remember for some while, as sophomore Troy Brand, senior Matthew Gatewood, and junor Brayden McGinnis hit back-to-back-to-back solo bombs to bring the game to its conclusion, a 15-0 game called dead due to the mercy rule.
Gatewood went 3-3 with three RBIs and fell just a triple short of the cycle. Moore also helped his cause from the plate, stroking a double and drawing a pair of walks. As a team, the Orioles struck out just one time.
The Orioles improved to 7-0 (3-0) with the victory, while La Monte fell to 1-3.